Horti Fair Innovation Award
An international professional jury has awarded the Horti Fair Innovation Award 2012 to Air Monitoring, a system for monitoring greenhouse air quality that has been developed by EMS, CropEye and SERCOM. According to the jury, Air Monitoring adds a new innovative dimension to controlling the greenhouse climate.
Jury chair Geert van Oosterhout: “SERCOM and EMS take technology from other sectors and specifically apply it to greenhouse horticulture. With the naked eye you cannot see if a crop is failing to grow well due to small quantities of harmful gasses present in the greenhouse air. And when you can see something, the damage has already been done. Air Monitoring detects harmful gasses at low concentrations before the damage occurs and provides options for specific measures. The combined tool therefore adds a new dimension to controlling the greenhouse climate.”
Some 40 greenhouse horticulture companies in the Netherlands are already using Air Monitoring. The system consists of the MAC View®-Greenhouse Gas Analyser from EMS and a module for Sercom’s process computer. By linking the MAC View®-Greenhouse Gas Analyser to the Sercom process computer the risk of crop damage due to unwanted gasses in the greenhouse can be monitored and, if necessary, specific measures taken. Furthermore, this process can be automated.
EMS offers a special hire-purchase scheme for the MAC View®-Greenhouse Gas Analyser. The grower hires the analyser from EMS. When the hire payments made by the grower equal the purchase price of the equipment, the MAC View®-Greenhouse Gas Analyser becomes the property of the grower.
Production and quality losses of between 10% and 20% have been reported by growers in recent years due to the presence of unwanted gasses in the greenhouse air, such as ethylene and NOx. These harmful gasses originate from the flue gasses used to dose CO₂ or from equipment with a combustion engine located in or near the greenhouse. In the AirQ Innovation Platform, EMS and innovation manager CropEye collected data on the gas levels present in greenhouses and how these affected the crop. Using this data, SERCOM developed software to enable the process computer to monitor the risk of harmful gasses in the greenhouse air. The research was co-financed by the ‘Kas’ programme, Energiebron and Gasterra. Air Monitoring was developed in close collaboration with growers, advisory organisations and knowledge institutions.
Air Monitoring, the tool that combines the MAC View®- Greenhouse Gas Analyser with the Sercom process computer, can be seen at the HortiFair at stand 08.0305.
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